Bow season sort of ends for me in November. It’s not that I’m blocked from doing it. It just turns out that way. By moving my attentions to Kentucky, it’s kind of narrowed my bow opportunities in a lot of ways.
First, September is usually too hot to do serious bow hunting. Yeah, the season start around Labor Day, but it’s hard to get into bow hunting deer when
a) It’s so hot
b) The deer aren’t cooperating
c) The kids need some of my time for squirrel hunting..
That puts bow into my traditional start of the first weekend in October. Now there’s Muzzleloader season and early Yute season back-to-back. In the middle of the month, so really there’s only a couple to three weekends in October that provide uninterrupted opportunities for bow.
Then there’s November. I get one or two weekends before KaBlam! Rifle season runs for three solid weeks, and usually dumps me off around Thanksgiving with the freezer full. It’s hard to work up the energy to join the Orange Hordes and go back out for Ohio Shotgun season, let alone crawl up in a stand with only a bow and a doe tag and face the bite of the December winds. You can forget January.
This year was no different. Complicating matters even more was that Halloween weekend was a washout. I was battling that nasty lung thing all weekend. I possibly could have gone out, but then I would have been courting serious health consequences. I’ve wrecked myself several times over the years trying to hunt through a cold.
So all in all, bow season ended for me on this weekend. Saturday morning was a real joy. Some monstrous buck of the same bloodlines of the beast I took last year appeared at my stand and hung out just outside of bow range. I had a nice little 6 pointer come by and walk the fence line by the stand, munching here and there, and not noticing my incoming scent trail, or my downwind scent cone. That was very gratifying—baking soda and rubber boots really do work.
Lastly, I had a doe come and sneak up on me from my blind side. She was heading out before I noticed her.
The afternoon hunt was from Garbage Pit, the same stand I used to bag the muzzleloader doe. Conditions were identical, but the payoff never came. When I got down after sundown, it seemed every deer in the county was waiting to bust me. They’d been holding for a bit more darkness before showing themselves, and I had to run the gauntlet of their taunts.
Sunday had a lot of promise, but everything went horribly wrong shortly after sunrise, thanks to the wonderful new-generation antibiotics I’ve been taking for that nasty lung thing. I had thought something like this might happen, so I took my stand over at Heartbreak Ridge—just a 5 minute walk to the campground and the outhouse. I’d been up in the stand since before first light. I’d heard a bunch of action in the darkness, but once the light came up the deer had completed making their moves. It had been enough, just to watch the morning come alive under the conjuction of Mars and Jupiter. Just as the sun was peaking up, I got one of those visceral urges that could not be denied. I climbed down for a hurried trip to the outhouse, but never made it. Perhaps I spent too long patting myself on the back for having the forethought to hunt near the outhouse. Maybe it was just too far down the ladder, or too far up the hill. Perhaps it was just too many layers of clothing, and well . . . nothing a washing machine can’t fix. However, the morning’s hunt was ruined. It was the first time in over twenty years I got caught that short.
So how was bow season this year? Don’t ask.